Hundreds of people joined Kent Wildlife Trust and their partner organizations in Sandwich and Pegwell Bay last weekend to celebrate 70 years since the declaration of the first National Nature Reserve.
A celebratory event was held to raise awareness of the need to protect important wildlife habitats like the Sandwich and Pegwell Bay Reserve, which was opened by Sir David Attenborough in 1999.
Wildlife experts organized free guided walks showcasing the area’s amazing and rare wildlife, while young visitors had fun making crafts, such as bird feeders, to attract birds to their homes. gardens.
The Canine Zone, an area where owners can let their dogs roam off-leash, was officially opened with mutts enjoying a free-roaming sprint. Free dog training was available throughout the day and it is hoped owners will use the area as an alternative to letting their dogs run free in the reserve, where they risk disturbing vulnerable birds.
People also enjoyed a free art exhibit by Jane Hills Kinsella, which shines a light on the plight of marine pollution by creating art from the massive amount of plastic that washes up on our shores.
Elsewhere, Wilder Coast volunteers have helped families spot wading birds feeding on the nutrient-rich mudflats. They also searched for invertebrates and wildflowers in the national park and heard about how Konik ponies and Highland cattle create the perfect habitat for nightingales.
Nina Jones from Kent Wildlife Trust said: ‘It was a fantastic celebratory event with so many people engaging with us and learning more about the wildlife on their doorstep. The area is a haven for wildlife and it is so important that local community members know about this unique and beautiful landscape and what can be done to protect it.
“The dogs enjoyed the free stray dog area and we really hope the owners will work with us and keep their dogs on a leash where the signs are posted. You can read more about where people and dogs are allowed in our new brochure and on the Kent Wildlife Trust website.
“I want to thank all the organizations who gave their time to put on the event, it was a fitting celebration.”
Sandwich and Pegwell Bay are managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust on behalf of landowners, including Kent County Council, National Trust, RSPB and Thanet District Council.
This celebratory event is the result of a collaboration between Kent Wildlife Trust, Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, Bird Wise East Kent, KCC Country Parks and Thanet Coast Project and was sponsored by GrowUp Farms.